Updates in Teaching and Learning: Reflection on 2011

In the year 2011, many exciting developments occurred in my life, and all meant progression in my career in teaching and learning. Keep reading for a recap of all the developments that happened in 2011, including: creation of my ePortfolio, Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, completion of M.Sc., and employment!

My greatest achievement in 2011 was the completion of my M.Sc. degree in November. Reaching this milestone was an extremely exciting and rewarding experience. In reaching this major career goal, I was able to demonstrate to myself the quality of work I am capable of, which has been a very valuable lesson in terms of self-confidence and positive thinking. Of course, the end of one chapter coincides with the start of another; in preparation for the end of my degree, I secured two jobs at The University of British Columbia. I am now a Graduate Program Facilitator at the Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology and a Sessional Instructor of two courses in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences: ENVR 200: Introduction to Environmental Sciences and EOSC 112: The Fluid Earth. Having just begun teaching at the undergraduate level, I find my new role on campus to be such a joy, and it constantly challenges me to grow and expand my skills. Additionally, utilizing the facilitation skills I acquired throughout my years with EOSC 516 for my work as a Graduate Programs Facilitator has been a wonderful opportunity.

Prior to the completion of my degree, I also achieved another goal in 2011. The teaching and learning opportunities I had during my three years as a M.Sc. candidate inspired me to define my Teaching Philosophy, one that is based on fostering community both in and out of the classroom, as well as develop this Teaching ePortfolio as a representation of my pedagogical achievements and goals. One neat aspect of achieving this goal that I did not anticipate is the use of this ePortfolio as an example in both teaching (e)Portfolio sessions offered at the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, as well as linked to UBC eGuides for teaching portfolio development (1,2) – hello to those who have found me through those avenues! I hope this site can inspire some ideas in your ePortfolio development, and any feedback you have on my ePortfolio is most welcome!

In spring 2011, I applied for a Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant award, showcasing my enthusiasm for teaching and learning, as well as my leadership, teamwork, and pedagogical skills. I was fortunate to be chosen as a recipient of this award, one that is given to less than one per cent of graduate students at The University of British Columbia. Being selected for a Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant award is an achievement of which I extremely proud, as it showcases not only my dedication to teaching and learning, but my dedication throughout a period of time during which this passion must be exercised part-time. Now that my M.Sc. is completed, I have thoroughly enjoyed exercising my passion on a full-time basis!

Looking forward, I hope to achieve more teaching and learning goals in 2012. One of the next steps in my career will be to obtain some formal education in the field of … education! I am also looking forward to future employment and am enjoying this phase of exploration as I determine the precise role for me in the realm of teaching and learning in higher education.

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